Friday night lights, the sweaty jerseys, the loud crowds, the buzzing stadiums all postponed until further notice due to COVID-19. When will contact sports return? A pending question…with no answer. The current pandemic has taken away many recreational events, high school contact sports being one of them, causing unease among many student athletes.
“They [sports] bring joy to the players and spectators and sports are a special part of people’s lives especially during high school,” Kevin Galvez, a senior varsity football player, said.
“I would feel devastated…. This is the only thing I’ve been looking forward to this year,” Kenneth Lara, a senior varsity basketball player said at the thought of sports being cancelled.
Meanwhile, other athletes still hope that their 2020 season will still occur- even if they are postponed. “I am glad that sports will be moved to the second semester because this gives us a chance to prepare for our season,” Jorge Irepan, a senior varsity soccer player, said.
In order to participate in their 2020 season, these athletes are willing to do anything. “I [am] willing to adapt to any regulations, because, at the end of the day, we all just want to play our sports and we will do whatever we have to,” Irepan said. In addition, “I would be willing to wear anything to keep myself and other players safe,” Jacqquelin Camarena, a sophomore and a junior varsity soccer player, said.
However, when questioned if they would feel safe to return, the controversy begins. “I would still feel safe participating in sports, since we would play in March, and I think it would be safer by then,” Lara said. Just like Lara, there are many other contact varsity athletes who feel safe returning to their sports.
“I would be nervous to return back to the sport that I play, because my coach might not know if a player on the other team is sick,” Camarena said. Along with Camarena many athletes like herself feel unsafe about returning to their sport.
Still, the future of high school contact sports is unclear. “Yes, I wholeheartedly want sports to return this year, because these sports are an escape for a lot of people from the real world and people like myself are passionate about playing,” Galvan said. As desperation for this pandemic to be over soon and the allowing of contact sports to return grow, many athletes grow, impatient.